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Looking Out and Looking In: A Selection of Contemporary Photography

Saturday, January 19, 2013Sunday, June 9, 2013

Installation view of Looking Out and Looking In: A Selection of Contemporary Photography. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Clifton Hall Link

The American photographer Ansel Adams once said, “Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communication, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.” Although most people would agree with that assessment today, 100 years ago photography was not even considered art by the majority of viewers—it was seen as a purely documentary technique. So in 1910, when the Albright Art Gallery made the decision to present the International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography, it was not only revolutionary, but risky. Since hosting this groundbreaking exhibition in the history of the medium, the museum has been dedicated to collecting a wide variety of photographic works.

Looking Out and Looking In: A Selection of Contemporary Photography presented a selection of the Albright-Knox’s acquisitions from the last three decades, loosely organized around several themes. Landscapes include four long, vertical works from John Pfahl’s Scrolls series, featuring water in many different settings; rocks inside Icelandic caves and on Japanese mountains; and scenes of clouds, fog, and smoke. Works by Sophie Ristelhueber and Jennifer Karady explore the physical and psychological effects of war. Interior scenes range from Andreas Gursky’s image of a contemporary Atlanta hotel to John Massey’s series After Le Mépris, ten surreal, sharp-focused rooms inspired by a central theme in Jean-Luc Godard’s classic film Le Mépris (Contempt), 1963. Additional themes include people, light, and social commentary.

This exhibition was organized by Curator of Education Mariann W. Smith.

Exhibition Sponsors

Support for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s collection-based exhibitions and installations was generously provided, in part, by the late Peggy Pierce Elfvin; The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc.; The John R. Oishei Foundation; and The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.